7 Tips for Foot Health

Foot care is an essential routine activity that should be done by all individuals to achieve optimum wellness. Our feet contribute an important role in our activities of daily living which generally involves standing, walking and moving around. The lower body extremities especially the feet appear to support the entire weight of a person bringing them to be the most overused part of the body. To help prevent damage and promote foot care, here are seven tips to promote foot health.

Inspect and palpate your feet regularly. Keeping track with your feet will help you notice any changes or foot irregularities when it suddenly differs in foot colour, thickness, temperature, skin turgor and note for cracks. Also check for the capilliary refill of your toenails that will indicate adequate blood oxygenation. Any growth or change on the foot is not considered normal and should be consulted to a physician.

Wash your feet on a daily basis making sure to clean and wash in between the toes. Wet skin is very vulnerable which is prone to cracking and lesions since the skin become inelastic. Make sure you let your feet completely dry by using a towel to prevent skin from impairment.

Trim and cut your toenails. Be careful not to overly trim your toenails to prevent from skin damage and injury. For ladies and lasses who enjoy pedicures and nail art, make sure not to prolong the nail paint over a week. Use a mild nail polish remover to completely cleanse the nail polish. Prolonged paint will cause the nails to be brittle and may lead to certain foot problems.

Select the appropriate shoe and shoe size for your feet. When buying a new pair of shoes, consider and prioritize the comfort it will bring your feet and not after the shoe style. The best time for shoe fitting is during the day when the feet are at its largest.

As much as possible, avoid walking and running barefooted at your home. Walking barefooted may lead to an incident that may impair and aggravate the condition of your feet. It is best advised and wise to put on your slippers even at home to prevent any possible accident.

After a long stand, walk, run, a tiring and stressful day at work, lifting your legs against the wall will benefit your foot and legs venous return which promotes blood circulation. It is said that promoting venous return can aid in preventing formation of blood clots and plaques in the feet due prolonged standing, blood pooling and inadequate circulation.

Lastly, never disregard any foot or ankle pain even though you have a strong pain threshold and tolerance. Any pain connotes that there is an inflammation or any underlying cause within. It is better to consult your doctor or a podiatric physician to help diagnose and treat the pain.

For diagnosed type one or type two diabetes, caring for your feet plays a major role in maintaining your health. Foot lesions and wounds are the common cause of leg amputation for diabetic people. Make sure to routinely check and do foot care as recommended to prevent amputation from happening.

The Importance of Foot Health

Our feet are one of the most used but abused parts of our body. They take us where we want to go, lugging our weight around for miles and miles, up and down, every day. But many people tend to ignore the importance of foot health until problems set in.

The main culprit, really, is ignorance. Too many people simply do not know how to care for their feet.

Foot care actually has a lot to do with common sense, except when the problem is caused by a medical condition, like diabetic foot problems. But ignore your feet and you do risk infections and diseases that can be quite serious.

Fashion can be really bad for foot health.

How many women have endured blisters and bunions on feet squeezed painfully into sky-high heels? Or men with a penchant for pointy foot wear. You’d be surprised how many foot problems can be avoided simply by choosing good, practical footwear. Choose shoes with round toes and keep heels as low as possible. Anything above three inches can be hell on the ball of the foot. For flat feet, choose shoes with good arch supports.

One of the most common problems is, of course, athletes foot. It is caused by the fungus Trichophyton, which enjoys feet that are hot and sweaty, thus, its name. Left untreated, it attacks the upper layer of the skin, causing itchiness and a burning situation, or even bleeding. When infection sets in, blisters called bullous tinea pedis result.

Athletes foot can be avoided by washing your feet and drying them thoroughly, and using shoes made of materials that “breathe,” like leather. Foot powder helps a lot, too. If you do get it, use anti-fungal cream, never topical steroids, which allow the fungus to multiply. A household remedy is to soak the foot in a solution of one part vinegar and four parts water.

Clipping your toenails is a simple enough foot health maintenance job. But it should be done properly or you could end up with wounds that easily get infected or, worse, ingrown nails that will have to be treated surgically. And never try to camouflage cracked or discolored nails with polish. It could make the problem worse.

If you run for exercise, you put a lot of strain on your feet. A common problem is heel pain, which is usually caused by plantar fasciitis. Overdoing your routine can lead to tendonitis as well. Toe pain is usually caused by running shoes that are too small. Blisters often develop or your nails can turn black or even fall off.

Another common foot problem is calluses on feet, which are caused by friction between your feet and your shoes and cause the skin, usually the soles, to thicken. Warts, too, which are caused by a virus, can grow on the feet.

You will no doubt hear about supposedly successful home remedies for common foot ailments. Be careful though, because many of these will only worsen the problem. If in doubt, it is best to see a foot health professional.

Foot Health Courses – Your Ticket to a New Life

Ready to start a new career with a Foot Health Training Course?

If so, then your search is over. Training to become a Foot Health Practitioner, Podiatry Assistant or Nail Technician, (performing Pedicures or nail cutting) maybe the best move you will ever make. With an aging population in most western countries, the foot care industry is about to explode with retiring baby boomers and so now is your best chance to get on board.

In the UK there are three main educational bodies that offer foot health courses to students wanting to train as foot health professionals (FHP’s).

Best Footcare Course providers:

The Stonebridge College
SMAE Institute
College of Foot Health Practitioners (formerly the West Midlands School of Chiropody)
Open Study College

All offer foot training in two parts, a theory section and practical section. With the theory you learn in the comfort of your own home or distance learning as it is called with a dedicated tutor on hand to help and guide you. The practical part is done over one or two weeks at a training facility equipped. These Foot care courses give the student the confidence to perform basic foot care like removal of corns and calluses and the treatment of a variety of foot and nail conditions like fungal and wart infections.

The cost of these courses may seem slightly high from the outset, around £2,000 depending on the number of weeks of practical training. But when you compare this to the amount you can earn it is more than worth it.

Once you complete your foot care course, you will be qualified and registered to practice with that organisation and generally they will provide your insurance cover. However, you will not be able to use the title ‘Chiropodist’ or ‘Podiatrist’ as these are now legally protected titles.

Current Foot Care openings in the Footcare World

If you are looking for how the foot care industry exists in the UK in its present form, then listed below is the structure based on educational requirements (And this excludes one of the biggest sectors – Footwear):

Podiatrist/Chiropodist
Podiatry Assistant (Medical Pedicure in the USA)
Foot Health Practitioner
Nail Technician/Pedicurist (Medi Pedi’s in the USA)
Reflexologists

Podiatry is the professional end of foot health with invasive procedures like ingrown toenail and bunion removal with gait analysis to prescribe orthotics. Foot health courses for Podiatrists are normally full time tertiary university degrees although part time courses are available.

With a Podiatry assistant you need to complete around 500 hours of supervised practice (NHS or Private) with both oral and practical assessments.

Although at the lower end of the scale a good way into the foot health industry is to train as a nail technician or Pedicurist. They of ten form part of a beauty therapist course but can be done individually at some colleges. They are aimed at beautifying the foot, many people just find they need their nails cut, and so the income potential of a nail technician is not that different from that of a foot health practitioner.

Normally a FHP will base their business on a home visiting practice. However, this has many plus points with it like being your own boss, working and charging what you like as well as keeping cost down to a minimum.

What may surprise you the most, is that by completing one of these Foot Health Courses it will give you the ability to earn a staggering amount of money compared to the general 9-5 population and therefore give you the tools to transform your life for the better – if you set up your practice correctly.